12 Quick Cyber Tips
In celebration of Cybersecurity month, we wanted to give you 12 quick tips on how you can stay more safe online and protect your personal data. And if you’re not sure where you stand, we have 5 questions you can ask yourself as a quick security risk assessment.
1- Be realistic about your online presence
- If you have money, data, or place to work, you’re going to be targeted.
- Most criminals don’t care who you are, their mass attacks are mostly automated.
- Be careful of playing the games you see on social media where you provide your first pet’s name, grandmother’s maiden name and the make of your first car to find out what your super hero name would be or something like that. Those all are potential answers to security questions you have setup for some of your accounts.
2 – Shop online more safely by doing this:
- Never shop from a device that isn’t yours or on a network that you don’t own.
- Don’t save your card details in an online account.
- Verifying your transactions/accounts weekly for fishy activity.
3 – Don’t plug in random things to your computer and don’t connect to public wifi
- Random USBs are potentially a threat.
- Public wifi at restaurants, the airport, train station, etc. are more open to attack.
4 – Who’s that friend request/email from?
- Hackers can create fake profiles to get more information on you. This is a form of social engineering for the purpose of information gathering/reconnaissance.
- The goal is to get information from you by having you leak some form of confidential data.
5 – Use strong passwords
- 14 characters, use all characters
- Don’t share passwords.
- Watch for shoulder surfers.
6 – Two-factor authentication
- Use two-factor authentication everywhere you can.
- Set up authentication codes via sms or authentication app.
- More factors = more security
7 – Lock up all your devices
- Never leave laptop/smartphone/tablet unlocked
8 – Prioritize your most sensitive accounts
- Email, online banking, Amazon (e-commence), any account where you’ve put in your card details, and any account that has sensitive information (social security number, address, phone) are all examples of sensitive accounts.
- Secure them with strong passwords + two-factor authentication
- Make a list of all your online accounts and set strong passwords (good password managers are your friend)
9 – Clean out old apps, clear out old emails, unsubscribe from unwanted emails
10 – A little cyber paranoia can be good
- If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true
- If it looks fishy, better stay away
- Never give up confidential data
11 – Ransomware 101
- Do frequent data backups (in multiple locations).
- Don’t keep vital information only on your computer.
- Never access .zip attachments in e-mails from unknown senders.
- Don’t click links in e-mails from unknown senders.
- Keep your OS and apps up to date at all times.
- Use a reliable antivirus
12 – Disable your devices from the internet and Bluetooth when you aren’t using them
Questions to ask for a quick security risk assessment:
- What type of data do you have stored on your devices? (it can be photos, work documents, abut also passwords or account login credentials)
- What backup solutions do you have in place?
- What online accounts do you have? Which do you use more often?
- Evaluate how valuable is the data that you keep on them. What would happen if you wouldn’t have access to them anymore or that information was lost, deleted or leaked online?
- How do you keep the most sensitive information safe? What security measures did you take in order to prevent something to happen to your data?